Working and Studying — What Do You Learn? How Can You Manage It?
I think I can safely say I have learnt more from having to balance being a full time finance professional and being a Law Student. Having a 40 hour work week plus 20 hours of mandatory class time can take a toll. As well as being a son, a brother, a boyfriend, an uncle, a friend and giving myself time to binge watch Netflix. There is certainly a lot of pressure and a lot of things to balance.
When I say I have learnt ‘more’, I mean it has taught me three key attributes or takeaways — which to me are ‘game-changes’ for my career, my education and my life.
Learn to be honest with me
Without sounding crazy — its incredibly important to be honest with yourself as to what you can take on. You need to understand what are trying to achieve and break down the task to work out whether or not you can commit. Write this down! Just the process of writing things out — can stimulate your mind to question — wait is this even possible?
Importance of taking breaks and ‘switching off’.
Your time off needs to be for you. To use an analogy, if you do any form of physical exercise, for example, lifting weights — after several repetitions your muscles start to ache. If you keep going, you might starting using some ancillary muscles to keep yourself going. But eventually, you’ll either give up or hurt yourself to. To me — this is very similar to mental health. You must give yourself time to recharge, and part of that is focusing on doing things you enjoy. Everyone is so different with what motivates them. For me — I am a massive foodie, so I love to go get a meal. For my girlfriend, she loves to invest time in a DIY projects. My brother loves to binge watch old Marvel movies. Everyone is different and needs to recharge.
Setting Realistic Goals catered for who you want to be.
If you set goals that are specific, measurable and achievable goals, you are often able to overcome and work through ‘undesirable’ tasks to get there. You have probably heard this a thousand times. As an ambitious guy, I got to a point where I started to try achieve too much and almost kept aspiring for the ‘next achievement’. For example, if I wanted a promotion, I would work endlessly to get the promotion, to get satisfaction that lasted a few weeks or months — until I would set myself a new goal. It almost becomes cyclical, when you get into this endless chase for the ‘next thing’.
I realized it was because I was seeking achievements to ‘make me feel good enough’. And when I achieved them, I still wouldn’t. It was only until I set goals of who I wanted to be as a person that I began to feel growth I was proud of. For example, I have a desire to be become more comfortable with decision making. Breaking that down further, I asked myself, what does decision making involve? What are the good qualities and bad qualities in decision making? So my short term goal is within 6 months is to read books, listen to podcasts, journal or whatever I can do to answer that question. Each step I take closer to answering that question, makes me more confident in my growth, while sets up for long term development.